Ayende @ Rahien

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Enough is enough: iTunes got to go

Here is the story, the only reason that I am using iTunes is because I want to sync books that I buy from audible.com to my iPhone.

I am still fighting this problem. And I have installed / uninstalled, danced the mamba and even try some chicken sacrifice on the last full moon. Nothing helps, oh, it will works once, immediately after I install it, but on the next reboot, it will show the same error.

Right now I have uninstalled iTunes from my system, and I am currently building a VM specifically so I would be able to sync new audiobooks to my iPhones. I think that this is insane.

Anyone got a better option than that?

Comments

configurator
11/22/2010 08:12 PM by
configurator

You've got it all wrong. You're supposed to sacrifice a goat, not a chicken!

Khalid Abuhakmeh
11/22/2010 08:12 PM by
Khalid Abuhakmeh

I ran into the same issue when trying to sync podcasts, what I ended up doing was just using iTunes on the my iPhone and downloaded what I wanted directly from the web. It's not the best option but it always works. More than i can say for iPoop.

Ben
11/22/2010 08:13 PM by
Ben

I got a better option. Dump the f@$# iPhone and buy and Android :)

Graham
11/22/2010 08:40 PM by
Graham

luckily you have a better option if you are an audible subscriber. Just download the Audible app, and you can download books directly to the phone over Wi-Fi, no iTunes involved. Frankly, just jumped to WP7 and am cutting the iTunes cord completely (not Audible support on WP7 yet though...)

Koen
11/22/2010 08:46 PM by
Koen

If you have them as PDF files you can install Discover or iFiles lite, upload them via wifi to your iphone and view them in the PDF reader...

pete w
11/22/2010 08:55 PM by
pete w

There is an open source winamp plugin on source forge I use for this kind of thing. It works for most ipods, not sure about iphones but might be worth looking at if you use winamp

http://mlipod.sourceforge.net/

Philip
11/22/2010 08:56 PM by
Philip

My children want ipod touches for the big commercial holiday coming in december.

Sadly, the only reason I am pushing back on this is because it would mean installing iTunes for them, then maintaining and supporting it's insanity. I really like the iPod Touch as a device.... but iTunes on windows is insanely bad. Just horrible.

Ali
11/22/2010 09:02 PM by
Ali

I'm using MediaMonkey instead. it's free and works fine.

Leo
11/22/2010 09:03 PM by
Leo

I've tried iTunes in a VM before and it didn't work. If I remember correctly it had something to do with drivers. Basically the VM didn't recognize the iPod correctly. That was about 6 months ago so things my have improved. I'd be interested to know if it works for you.

Scooletz
11/22/2010 09:25 PM by
Scooletz

@Ben

High five! :]

Ade
11/22/2010 09:37 PM by
Ade

+1 for MediaMonkey

CausticMango
11/22/2010 10:00 PM by
CausticMango

In my experience this isn't an Apple problem so much as it's a persistent and pernicious Windows problem and why I eventually just gave up on it four or five years ago. First for Ubuntu, now for OS X.

Most of this type of goofy, pointless system fiddling has largely gone away.

junior programmer
11/22/2010 10:52 PM by
junior programmer

I completely switched from Windows to Mac OS X but this switch so far is strictly for home use only because at the moment I am sort of 'stuck' on the .NET platform. I will be looking for ways to switch to non-Windows development in the future.

I actually wanted to know why Ayende sticks around .NET platform consider that a lot of his works are open source and open source in .NET community isn't particular good compared to other platforms. Or is it because the lack of open source efforts in .NET community makes it easy to provide commercial support to open source projects?

KMM
11/22/2010 10:55 PM by
KMM

Apple definitely loses some points here for an obviously wrong dialog box. I recently came across a nearly identical problem related to Windows Live Photo Gallery. I was getting a message that a component was missing to view images that seemed unsolvable after trying everything.

That aside, generally, syncing to iTunes works for most users, so the problem is definitely solveable. If you're still interested in getting iTunes working instead of going with the alternates, here are a few things that come to mind to try to figure out the problem:

  1. Does the syncing work on another computer with a fresh install of Windows, all of the latest updates, and the latest version of iTunes? If it works, then a hardware problem can be ruled out.

  2. Start installing all of the software you use on your current machine on the new machine. Does the syncing still work after installing each one? If it still worked, then you can rule out major conflicts of your software. I can't say I've ever come across a major incompatibility between iTunes and other software, but I am sure that some examples exist, such as hardware drivers, virus scanners, utilities, etc.

  3. Still stumped? Your current Windows installation is therefore in a weird state and this problem will be the first of many more similar ones. Without the need to point fingers at what software problem caused the problem, a Windows reinstallation will solve the problem.

Then complain to Apple for having such a lousy error dialog.

Kev
11/22/2010 10:58 PM by
Kev

I feel your pain. I tried and tried with iTunes but it was forever wreaking havoc.

Call me cynical, but I suspect the quality control on Windows iTunes is stepped down a bit to make people think it'll be better to just buy a Mac.

@CausticMango - I imagine running iTunes on Windows 95 was a bitch.

dan
11/22/2010 11:06 PM by
dan

another +1 for sharepod. works great.

NC
11/22/2010 11:07 PM by
NC

Whats wrong with the .NET platform?

junior programmer
11/23/2010 12:08 AM by
junior programmer

@Graham, what do you use to connect your WP7 to PC? Yes... it's called crap ware.

junior programmer
11/23/2010 12:10 AM by
junior programmer

WP7 is as bad as Symbian based smart phones at this point in time.

Marthinus
11/23/2010 04:38 AM by
Marthinus

I installed iTunes on my 5 year old laptop. The only instance of iTunes in my whole house. So to sync, I connect to the old laptop. No way I allow iTunes invest the rest of my house.

Sam
11/23/2010 06:35 AM by
Sam

I dual-boot my MBP and run iTunes and all my productivity software on OS X. You did buy an MBP, right? ;)

Ayende Rahien
11/23/2010 08:30 AM by
Ayende Rahien

Graham,

Thank you, this solution works beautifully

Nigel Holland
11/23/2010 10:25 AM by
Nigel Holland

I use Calibre for all my ebook managment, will sync to iPhone/iPad, will sync wirelessly with Stanza. It's free and open source.

http://calibre-ebook.com/

Nigel Holland
11/23/2010 10:30 AM by
Nigel Holland

Oops, should have realise that audible.com are audio books not ebooks.

Dan B
11/23/2010 10:48 AM by
Dan B

My company phone is an iPhone, which means i have no choice but to use iTunes to sync it and keep it up to date - so far I have used it in both VMWare and MS Virtual PC to keep iTunes from taking over my computer and both have worked fine for me.

Marcus
11/23/2010 10:51 AM by
Marcus

Sadly, there's only one solution to these kinds of problems, boycott such products. Why oh why does these problems even exists, so sad so sad. :)

I
11/23/2010 02:33 PM by
I

ohh yeh I feel your pain, iTunes is rubbish and extremely slow even on mac.

FerretallicA
11/24/2010 12:06 AM by
FerretallicA

http://www.i-funbox.com/ - free, exposes entire file system

http://www.xilisoft.com/iphone-transfer.html - not free, but handles iTunes synching rather than direct file system access

Between these two i've had no need for iTunes any more... and best of all both allow you to access YOUR files without threatening to delete everything every time you swap computers!

Brie
11/24/2010 02:02 AM by
Brie

Ugh! I know the feeling. The only reason I use Windows anymore is my iPad. :-|. Best of luck to you...

Julian Dominguez
11/24/2010 01:11 PM by
Julian Dominguez

+1 for MediaMonkey. Although it uses iTunes services under the hood, so not sure if it'll work for you or not.

Reshef
11/24/2010 04:38 PM by
Reshef

Buy an android. The iPhone is a piece of junk.

Michael J. Ryan
11/24/2010 09:07 PM by
Michael J. Ryan

I have to suggest again, what others have... Winamp tends to be my player of choice... Not sure if there are plugins for current iOS based iPods (Touch/Phone), but I used it in the past when I had my Gen3 iPod, and worked great.

Jeremy
11/28/2010 06:33 AM by
Jeremy

Use the Audible iPhone app instead of iTunes -- It'll download the books OTA and has a nice player too.

FJ
11/29/2010 12:08 PM by
FJ

Forgive me if this isn't feasible (I don't use iTunes, nor own an iPhone) but if they're basically just files I'd suggest having a look at dropbox ( https://www.dropbox.com/anywhere) which now has an iPhone app.

Shawn Wheatley
11/30/2010 04:32 PM by
Shawn Wheatley

Do you really need them on your PC? I personally use the Audible.com app for the iPhone and download them directly to the phone. I almost never listen to them on my PC anyway, and you could always use Audible's manager software anyway. Pretty much the only time I plug my iPhone into my laptop anymore is when I want to take a backup.

Aaron
12/06/2010 10:01 PM by
Aaron

What if you email yourself the epub file? the iPhone should be able to open it and you should find a button to import to iBooks

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